Rumors once swirled that Golden Tate had a relationship with Ashton Meem, the ex-wife of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, but he has repeatedly denied any romantic involvement with Meem.
Here’s everything you need to know about the wild story and unfounded rumors:
1. Meem & Wilson Divorced After 2 Years of Marriage
Meem and Wilson met in high school in 2006. After high school, Meem went to the University of Georgia and Wilson was offered a football scholarship to play at North Carolina State. Shortly after, Meem transferred from Georgia to NC State and then again to the University of Wisconsin, where Wilson transferred prior to his final year of eligibility.
In 2010, Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies. He returned to N.C. State to play baseball later that year and proposed to Meem in August of 2010 after four years of dating.
According to Richmond Magazine, Wilson popped the question by putting a dog tag on their Queen Elizabeth Pocket Beagle puppy that read, “Hey Mom, Dad has a question to ask you.”
The happy couple tied the knot in 2012 shortly before the Seahawks drafted Wilson.
In April 2014, Wilson announced to his team that he would be filing for divorce. Seattle fans and Wilson’s teammates were stunned.
Per USA Today, here’s how Wilson addressed the divorce at the time:
“Clearly, decisions like these don’t come easy. Ashton and I respectfully ask for prayers, understanding and privacy during this difficult time. Moving forward, I will have no further comment on this personal matter.
2. Tate Got into an Altercation With Percy Harvin for Unknown Reasons
Percy Harvin and Tate got into a fight in the locker room prior to the Super Bowl in 2014, with some reports indicating Harvin had punched Tate in the face.
Tate addressed the rumors in January 2015:
There was also a social media frenzy concerning me and Percy Harvin. To set the record straight, I was not punched by Percy during Super Bowl week last year, nor did I have a black eye, as was speculated on by various Internet reports. I even saw a photo of my face that was photoshopped with a mark on it! Percy and I did have a confrontation, yes, but no punches were thrown, and it certainly never rose to the level that was erroneously reported by certain outlets. I highly respect his level of play. He’s one of the best in the game!
Harvin was known to be a trouble-maker, which promoted the Seahawks to trade him to the Jets in 2014.
Something did go on at the Super Bowl that a lot of fans don’t know about. There was an altercation in the locker room between Percy Harvin and Golden Tate. It saddens me because I was a leader on that team and to know that this information got out — usually Pete Carroll-coached teams, this type of thing stays in-house. There was an issue, I physically broke it up, I was there, you would have to ask those guys what they were arguing about, I’m not at liberty to talk about it. …
We kind of talked about it afterwards. I talked to Percy and Golden and they ironed their situation out. But again, you’ve been in locker rooms, these type of things happen all the time. Families fight. That is what is so disturbing. Again, this type of information usually doesn’t get out of that locker room. Why it comes out now, almost a year after the Super Bowl is mind-boggling.
3. Tate Has Repeatedly Denied Any Romantic Involvement With Meem
Tate has come out swinging against the affair rumors on several occasions. He addressed them in a series of tweets in April 2014, imploring people to stop spreading rumors and go watch the NBA playoffs.
He addressed the rumors again in the Cauldron column:
Unfortunately, I have since been harassed on social media over a multitude of reasons about why I left, none of which are true. It was profoundly disappointing, not only that these “fans” were circulating rumors about me, but more so how my reputation became tarnished in the process.
I did not have an affair with Russell Wilson’s wife, nor did I have anything to do with his divorce. That is laughable for anyone who knows us. His ex-wife, Ashton, is still best friends with my girlfriend. Russell and I were good friends when I was in Seattle, on and off the field — he knows the rumors about me were unfounded, damaging to my reputation, and an attack on my character. Anyone who circulated that rumor was just plain irresponsible.
Asked about the rumors, Tate said they were “a bunch of bullsh*t” and that he wished Wilson would have put an end to the rumors. He also reiterated that Pollard and Meem are best friends and that they wouldn’t be if there was any validity to the rumors.
4. Tate’s Fiancee Is Close Friends with Meem
Tate pointed out on Twitter and reiterated in the Cauldron and to TMZ that Pollard, who he proposed to in September 2015, is good friends with Meem — a friendship that presumably wouldn’t have lasted if Meem had been romantically involved with Tate.
As Deadspin reported in December 2014, Pollard has also vehemently denied the affair rumors, going so far as to lash out at an Instagram user who had commented on one of Meem’s photos.
In the comment in question, Pollard referred to Meem as her “best friend” and said Meem was a “lady” who ignored idiots spreading false rumors about her.
5. Tate Signed With the Lions in March 2014
In March of 2014, Tate signed a five-year $31 million dollar deal with the Detroit Lions.
The deal followed a 2013 season in which Tate had a career year, catching 64 passes for 898 yards in addition to being one of the league’s most effective punt returners.
Fans speculated after Tate chose to leave the Seahawks that friction with teammates was one of the factors in his decision.
In the Cauldron column, though, Tate talked about the monetary reasons for making the move:
Yes, money matters — football is not forever, and athletes (rightfully) want to maximize their earnings in order to provide our families with security and opportunity — but there was a lot more to my decision. Playing in a market where the fans are very passionate and supportive was extremely important to me, especially because I think it’s important to have an impact in the community beyond just catching passes and scoring TDs.